Family Violence – Fine | Domestic Violence Case Studies

This is a case study on family violence and fine as a sentencing outcome.

Our client was charged with several offences arising out of a family violence incident concerning his former partner.

What is alleged to have occured?
It was alleged that he had beaten his former partner who had sustained injuries including severe bruising to the face and neck, two black eyes, minor lacerations to the face and neck, and slightly impaired vision.

His charges included:

The most serious charge laid against our client was recklessly causing serious injury. This is a very significant charge which attracts harsh penalties and usually involves a gaol term upon a finding of guilt.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court.

We conducted negotiations with the prosecution about the charges and the summary. Our client made admissions to parts of the offending and did not dispute that an incident had occurred. What was disputed was the seriousness of the injuries alleged and the version of events as put in the police summary.

We argued that the injuries as outlined on the brief did not go so far so as to make out a serious injury and that the lesser charge of recklessly causing injury was appropriate. The law in this area has recently changed and we argued that the injuries as alleged did not meet the new definition. The medical material was vague as to any ongoing impacts of the injuries, and the immediate injuries consisted only of bruises and minor lacerations. The prosecution argued that the complainant’s vision had decreased in one eye since the incident but there was no medical material to establish this conclusively.

We made lengthy submissions as to our client’s personal circumstances and the efforts he had made at rehabilitation since the offending, including participating in anger management counselling.

What was the result?
Ultimately, the prosecution agreed to proceed only on the charge of recklessly causing injury and our client entered a plea on this basis. In all the circumstances of this case of family violence, a fine was a positive result given the seriousness of the charges our client was originally facing.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013